Hiren Pandit: Bangladesh has attained independence after the nine-month bloody struggle. The independence of the country regardless of religion, caste, or group, women, and men fought and sacrificed their lives and uncountable miseries. A lot is lost. We should work for those people and their families. We should protect people and property, especially women and minority communities and need to promote their rights. Women and minorities are oppressed around the elections, and political and communal violence, especially against women and minority communities, has continued in almost every national election since independence.
At times violence against women and minority communities has also taken place around local elections. At the same time, we should work more for a non-communal Bangladesh by eliminating all inequalities, and around the coming twelfth election, no more killing, rape, attempted rape or burning, or vandalizing of any people any women including minority community and their houses, places of worship, and security of their lives, the government, Police administration, political parties and civil society are needed to be alert and take special initiatives.
Identify vulnerable areas before the election, during the election, and after the election, to ensure the overall security of the women and minority community there and take effective action by every administration, non-governmental organization and residents involved in the election along with the law-and-order forces. Provide specific instructions to all concerned government institutions by the Election Commission and overseeing their implementation; making government emergency services more active and effective; Strict action by law enforcement agencies and local administrations against perpetrators of violence and those who harbor them; Building local public resistance to prevent any kind of violence including rape and sexual abuse.
There is no alternative to free, fair, and credible elections to continue democracy in Bangladesh. For that, the Bangladesh Election Commission (EC) and Bangladesh Awami League government are determined to conduct a fair, peaceful and credible election like in the past. The EC has made all the necessary preparations for free, fair, peaceful and credible elections. The present government is doing all the support to the EC for the conduct of this fair election.
Due to the misrule of dictators and the anti-independence forces in Bangladesh democracy could not be institutionalized. Sheikh Hasina has established democracy in Bangladesh by making the supreme sacrifice of her life by ignoring the bloody eye of the autocratic rulers to ensure the right to food and vote for the common people of Bangladesh. Besides, they have been repeatedly attacked by anti-independence forces to continue this trend of democracy in Bangladesh. Ignoring all kinds of conspiracies of anti-national evil forces, to continue this smooth process of democracy, the supreme law of independent Bangladesh has formed an impartial and strong Election Commission intending to conduct a free, fair peaceful, and credible election in the light of the Bangladesh Constitution.
Sheikh Hasina’s government and the EC are determined to make the upcoming 12th National Parliament elections free, fair, peaceful and credible. All possible preparations are being made in the EC to complete the 12th National Parliament elections on time. There can be no shortage of the EC’s efforts to make the election fair, peaceful, credible, and festive. The deployment of armed forces for 13 days i.e. from December 29 to January 10 was finalized and assigned their responsibilities.
Sheikh Hasina has been working constantly making various efforts to continue the practice of democracy of the Bengali people for the sake of protecting this final continuation of the people’s vote. To that end, the Bangladesh Awami League government believes in pro-independence power, public support, democracy and the development of Bangladesh. The highest law of Bangladesh is the Constitution of Bangladesh. To conduct free, fair, peaceful and credible elections, form a neutral and strong Election Commission formed according to the Constitution of Bangladesh, and voter ID to stop vote rigging. She confirmed the use of digital EBM technology in the elections, including the attachment of voters’ photographs to the list.
Observing the political crisis, foreign investors lost confidence. Ahead of the twelfth national parliament election of Bangladesh, the bipolar political division of the country has taken a conflicting form. In the meantime, there have been many vandalisms, around 300 buses and trucks have been burnt. Rail lines were cut, trains were set on fire and many tragic deaths were reported in the media. We want them to end. It is the only expectation of the countrymen that this parliamentary election is being held in a free, fair, peaceful, and festive environment with the participation of all the parties and that the verdict of the people given through the ballot is expressed without hindrance.
Those who will convey the good message of all times and ages to everyone, that is the step of healthy and fair politics. People’s spontaneity is what adorns democratic political culture. It will not be right to verify the fairness of the election based on statistics. Fair-free-neutral elections depend on voter participation. The main challenge of the 12th National Assembly elections is to ensure voter participation, i.e. to bring it to a satisfactory level. 30-40 percent voter turnout or any such statistics cannot help us understand the real situation. Elections in many developed countries have seen voter turnout below 50 percent.
Awami League government is the government of the development of Bangladesh elected by the people’s vote. For 15 years, the government has been working hard to change the fate of the people of Bangladesh after being elected by a huge vote with the full support of the Bengali people. Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina started working as a path and path for the overall welfare, development, and liberation of the people of Bangladesh. She proved that she has no alternative in the development of democracy in Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina’s integrity, devotion, strong morale, wisdom, and extraordinary leadership have established Bangladesh at a different height in the world and she has been recognized as a world-renowned leader.
So, we have to think about removing existing crises and obstacles without worrying about statistics or probabilities. The first step is to strengthen security so that the voters can reach the center safely and cast their votes without fear, but the army will remain as the striking force until a few days after the elections. Along with this, priority should also be given to ensuring a fair voting environment in the polling station. If voters can come to the center and cast their votes themselves, people will have a positive impression of the election environment. Then the voters who have not exercised their right to vote will also come to the center to vote. Relationship of trust between political parties.
In a democratic system, there is no other acceptable method or means of changing the government or forming the government other than elections. Article 7 of our Constitution declares that the people, possessing all power, shall be the center of all political action. Constitution is the supreme political document of a nation; it is the sacred responsibility and duty of a nation to uphold the Constitution. On the other hand, there is no substitute for free, fair, unimpeded, influence-free elections in a constitutional democratic system. Such an election is our national responsibility. It is not difficult for the current Election Commission to conduct an acceptable and beautiful election if the government, opposition parties, administration, media, observers, and people all cooperate.
A cooperative environment among all stakeholders involved in elections will encourage voters to vote fearlessly. Everyone should work to protect people’s voting rights and achieve people’s economic freedom. It is the responsibility of the government to protect the voting rights of the people. Keeping in mind the days of killing, torture, and rape during the 2001 election and after the election, the administration should be careful in this matter so that no such incident can create a vicious cycle in the future. If the politicians do not correct themselves, outsiders will be able to listen, it will not do any good. There will be no welfare of the country.
Everyone should play a role in creating a festive and peaceful environment around the election. The professionalism of those involved in the polls and the impartiality and fairness of the public officials and employees must perform their duties. Law enforcement agencies must be especially vigilant to ensure that voters can cast their ballots and return home safely on polling day. In particular, they should pay special attention to the security of minorities. Everyone in the election program should work from their respective places while maintaining a fair, neutral, and peaceful environment.
Democracy is truly established only through fair, peaceful and credible elections. So, there is no alternative to fair and participatory elections to continue the trend of democracy in Bangladesh. For that, the Bangladesh Election Commission (EC) and Bangladesh Awami League government are determined to conduct a fair, peaceful, and participatory election like in the past. The Election Commission of Bangladesh has made all the necessary preparations for a fair and peaceful election. And the current democratic government is doing all the support to the EC for the conduct of this fair election. So, whether BNP participates in the election or not, the election is going to be held on January 7. With the combined efforts of the Election Commission and the government, the upcoming 12th National Assembly election is going to be free, fair, impartial, peaceful, and credible- there is no room for any doubt in this regard.
The writer is a columnist and researcher.